Tag Archive for why people keep dying

Morning Links: New California mountain bike org seeks funding, road raging drivers, and banning cars won’t fix it

The new year brought California a much needed bouncing baby statewide mountain bike organization.

And they’re looking for your help get it off the ground.

CAMTB ANNOUNCES FOUNDER’S FUNDING ROUND

Become a CAMTB Founder

Santa Rosa, Calif. — The California Mountain Biking Coalition is announcing a Founding Donors round of funding. The pending 501(c)4 organization was formed to serve the needs of the mountain bike community andin Sacramento is inviting donors to help build the trail advocacy organization that Californians haveour sport has long needed.

Even though mountain biking was invented in California, until now, every statewide MTB nonprofit has been locally driven. It has become painfully clear, while local advocacy is important, it needs to be buttressed by a statewide voice!  Due to the unique challenges of mountain bike trail advocacy, direct action must be taken towards the state capitol, specifically in lobbying lawmakers, drafting legislation and endorsing candidacies.

Donations from our founders will be used to accomplish the following:

  • Increase the capacity of a statewide trail advocacy organization through strategic planning
  • Create awareness of the issues which limit trail access for local clubs across the state
  • Develop messaging that will foster a positive image of mountain biking to emphasize education, diversity, and healthy lifestyle choices
  • Support lobbying efforts in Sacramento
  • Build an effective and collaborative resource hub for trail advocacy best practices

Please give generously to help us accomplish our mission of, “More trails. Better trails.”

  • $50 or greater donation will receive a CAMTB sticker, a letter from the CAMTB Board and listing on Founders Wall at CAMTB.org
  • $100 or greater donation will receive the above and one CAMTB Founders Tshirt*
  • $500 or greater donation will receive the above and an invitation to the CAMTB inaugural Summit  (TBA, targeting FALL2020/WINTER2021)
  • $1000 or greater will receive the above and an invitation to the CAMTB MTB Legislative Strategy Session in Sacramento (late Feb, TBA)
  • $2500 or greater donation will receive the above and a personal visit by one or more of the CAMTB Board and/or Executive Director for a bike ride and private meal.
  • $5000 or greater donation will receive the above and an invitation to the CAMTB Board retreat (June 2019, Lake Tahoe).

Even though CAMTB is so new the paint isn’t dry, we are already making an impact. We were voted  “Trailforks Advocates of the Year” by PinkBike. The CAMTB Board of Directors is comprised exclusively of experienced, non-profit Mountain Bike Club Leaders from across the state with more than 60 years of combined advocacy experience and an Interim Executive Director who has 30 years of experience in the bike industry. In addition to your financial support, CAMTB is driven by trail & mountain bike volunteers from across the state. You are also invited to get involved. Visit our website to learn how.

Donations to CAMTB are not tax-deductible, t. They support our advocacy and lobbying efforts. CAMTB is a pending non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(4) organization, EIN #84-3396574.

Check donations gladly accepted.

Payable to: CAMTB

PO BOX 1123

Santa Rosa, CA  95402

To donate online, go to: http://camtb.org/donate.

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

A Los Angeles man remains in a coma after he was knocked out by a road raging driver and his passengers with a single punch in Van Nuys on New Year’s Day.

Meanwhile, a road raging Milwaukee driver stopped and shot two young kids for throwing snowballs at his car; fortunately, they will both be okay.

………

They get it.

The Brookings Institute says just banning cars from new developments won’t solve the problem, until we rethink cities to reduce the need for long trips.

Meanwhile, Toyota is attempting their take on it by building a prototype smart city where cars are pushed to the outskirts, unless they can drive themselves.

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

An Ontario, Canada man loses his car and driver’s license for a whole seven days for driving the equivalent of 135 mph in a 65 mph zone.

………

Tesla head honcho Elon Musk makes waves with two letters, apparently promising to add tech to prevent doorings in a future upgrade.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. 

When an Austin TX woman paused at a coffee shop to adjust her bike, a visibly stoned man drank her coffee, then hurled a log at her. Confirming the famous Teddy Roosevelt quote, “Speak softly and throw a large stick.

Unbelievable. Washington man claims self-defense for running over a bicyclist with his car — after flipping the bike rider off for “staring at him” — claiming he struck the victim before the man could assault him. Which he had no intention of doing.

………

Local

Road diets work. Santa Monica reports a 71% decrease in severe injury collisions on formerly dangerous Ocean Park Blvd since implementing the improvements.

Speaking of Santa Monica, the LACBC and Santa Monica Spoke are hosting a MetroBEST beginning bike safety class in the city this weekend.

 

State

Learn more about SoCal’s WheelTales bike tours with a pair of Inland Empire meetings in the coming weeks.

Talk about burying the lede. A Sacramento TV station says police are looking for a vehicle that struck a Stockton bicyclist last week. Except he was killed, not just struck. And chances are, that vehicle probably had a driver.

 

National

Location, location, location. A new study shows that, like real estate, the success or failure of bikeshare systems depends primarily on the location of the docks; the most successful location is within four blocks of a transit station.

Now you, too, can own a rare 1903 ped-assist gas-powered bicycle, up for auction in Las Vegas later this month.

A Utah family is mourning a second loss, after someone stole the tricked out ‘bent belonging to their late father and grandfather. On the other hand, it says something that the thief broke into the garage and stole the bike, but left the car.

A Washington mountain bike maker is moving to my former Iditarod-running brother’s new western Colorado hometown. No doubt they were drawn by his expertise in sled dog racing, mountain biking and bike touring across the West. And the nearby corgi breeders, of course.

A Dallas magazine questions how the city can make its Vision Zero plan work when so many others — including Los Angeles — are failing. For one, they need to actually implement the plan, rather than resorting to wishful thinking like LA.

A Kansas City councilwoman is under fire for responding to the death of a popular bike rider by saying the city’s bicycle infrastructure plan really isn’t a priority.

Now that’s a degree you can put to use. A Minnesota state college is offering a program in bicycle design and fabrication.

As if their jobs weren’t dangerous enough, 24 New York food delivery workers have had their ebikes jacked in the last four months. That’s not counting the ones seized by police, in a city where throttle-controlled ebikes remain illegal.

Apparently, New York’s mayor doesn’t need any facts or stats to decide those ebikes are dangerous; he appears to be more than happy to settle for self-delusion common sense.

A DC app allows bike riders and pedestrians to report bad driver behavior to the proper authorities, and check to see how many infractions the driver has racked up using that car. Let’s hope that goes nationwide soon.

After Mobile, Alabama conducted a road diet on a local parkway, going from five lanes to three with bike lanes on either side, people just started driving in the bike lanes, instead.

 

International

Rouleur considers the success of collaborations between bike and car makers.

A Toronto bike lawyer could use his own services after nearly getting beaten to death by a road raging driver and his passenger last New Years, then getting hit by a driver while riding to a rehab appointment.

A UK website says riding a cargo bike is like driving an SUV, only cooler, and backs it up with a very bizarre looking Japanese entry. Unless maybe you’d rather have a $4,000, 30 mph scooter made by the owner of the LA Times.

Germany’s Canyon Bicycles was the victim of a massive cyber attack over the weekend; their North American operations were reportedly unaffected.

An Australian mountain bike maker promises to plant a tree for every bike they sell, anywhere around the world. Those trees could come in handy after the country’s devastating fires.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome denies rumors he left his team’s training camp after just two days, or that the lingering effects of the injuries he suffered at last year’s Criterium du Dauphine will keep him out of this year’s Tour de France.

The Radavist has details on this weekend’s LA Tourist Race.

 

Finally…

Who wants to be the first to trade the family SUV for a $8,800 three-wheeled, solar-powered, ped-assist e-rickshaw? If your ride isn’t on Strava, did it really happen?

And the next time you’re run down by a hit-and-run driver, maybe call the police before you walk home and take a nap.

 

Morning Links: Bike rider fatally shot in South LA, Peloton’s “awful” new ad, and why people keep dying on our streets

Today is Giving Tuesday.

So take a few moments, and a few dollars, to help make a difference in our world. Or more than a few dollars, even.

Give generously, wherever your heart leads, and to whatever inspires you.

Because Lord knows, this world could use the help.

………

Sad news from South LA, where a man riding a bicycle was shot to death in an apparent drive-by.

The 20-something victim was found lying dead next to a bicycle, in the traffic lane near the intersection of Figueroa and 89th Streets around 9 pm Sunday.

According to a police spokesperson, there is a lot of gang activity in the area, which may or may not explain the motive for the shooting.

Seriously, the only thing more wasteful than unintentionally taking the life of another human being with a car is doing it on purpose with a gun.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

………

This one just cracks me up.

Today’s best read comes from USA Today’s For The Win! website, begging someone to “please help the woman from Peloton’s awful new ad,” and saying it earns the indoor cycling brand “our collective wrath.”

For the second year in a row, no less.

The woman’s terrified face is so disconcerting, her distress so obvious that it’s impossible to focus on anything else happening in the ad. She’s already trim and gorgeous, and yes, even though exercise should be about more than self-image, it’s clear this woman is trying to compensate for something. Is it her crumbling marriage? Her husband’s not-so-subtle suggestion she drop a few pounds?

The zeal with which she attacks the Peloton clearly speaks to some deep, unfulfilled need somewhere in her life.  Here she is — young, beautiful, successful, with a child and financial security– and yet, something inside her is still so obviously and utterly broken that only an unhealthy fixation on indoor cycling can help mend it.

Meanwhile, the online world quickly jumped in to offer its own takes.

Like this one.

The writer wraps it up this way.

It’s clear this woman doesn’t need a Peloton. She needs a good therapist and a divorce lawyer.

Maybe you won’t find it as funny as I did, after working most of my career in advertising and marketing.

But take the time to read it if you want a good laugh.

Unless maybe you work for Peloton, in which case it’s probably not funny at all.

………

This is why people keep dying on the streets.

A Michigan man was convicted of driving a motorized bicycle without a headlight or a driver’s license, with a BAC over twice the legal alcohol limit.

Which is nothing new for him, though. He had 13 previous DUI convictions on his record, including four stints behind bars.

He’d had just finished adding the motor to his bike.

A Margaritaville-branded bike appropriately enough, given the circumstance.

Meanwhile, a distracted Canadian driver was still on the road despite being cited for cellphone use nine previous times.

………

Metro and the LACBC want to help you learn to ride your bike safely.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Yesterday we mentioned that Michigan volunteers built 240 bikes for Toys for Tots. Today we learn that 130 of those bikes were donated by a single bighearted nine-year old girl, who collected cans all year to pay for them.

Toledo, Ohio police and firefighter unions donated and built 52 kids bicycles for the county children’s service department.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A road raging Russian driver intentionally swerved into a bike rider after brake checking him, knocking him into another car.

But sometimes its’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A Texas woman lost her wallet to a bike-riding bandit, even after she managed to sink her teeth into him.

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Thanks to Theodore F, Mark J, Moore R, James L, Matthew R and Jack M for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. Or nearly every day, anyway.

………

Local

Apparently misunderstanding the “new” in news, the LA Times gets scooped by a full five days on the arrest of the LAUSD teacher in the caught-on-security-cam Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider critically injured.

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew throws down the gantlet for the Militant Angeleno with his preview of this Sunday’s West Valley CicLAvia. Meanwhile, CicLAvia clarifies whether ebikes are allowed. Short answer yes, as long as you have to pedal to make it work.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune profiles the executive director of the I,400-member SD Mountain Biking Association

The less rural than it used to be Santa Ynez Valley could soon have a bike plan offering a network of new and enhanced bike lanes.

A Bakersfield professor has tossed his hat in the ring to replace a retiring congressman; the Republican former college teammate of Pat Tillman — the Army Ranger who walked away from a successful NFL career after 9/11 only to be killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan — once rode his bike 3,468 miles across the US.

Caltrans wants Sonoma bicyclists to help them identify to area’s worst roads.

 

National

Singletracks reviews eight hip packs for mountain biking. Because no one wants a fanny pack.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bicycle a Washington man with cerebral palsy used as his only form of transportation.

It could take up to two years to repair a 195-mile long Nebraska bike path, one of the longest in the US, following massive flooding last spring.

Minnesota police get the law wrong, merely ticketing the impatient driver who killed a woman on a bike by going around a car that was stopped to let her cross in a crosswalk, as well as the courteous and law-abiding driver who stopped for her.

Police in Detroit don’t hesitate to absolve a driver for the crash that seriously injured a bike rider — right up to the point he fled the scene.

Many college students survive on dorm vending machines, but University of Kentucky students can get their bike parts the same way.

A Pittsburgh letter writer blames bike lanes, and the accompanying loss of parking, for threatening the city’s commercial district. Even though all that parking apparently didn’t help the major department stores stay in business before the spaces were removed. And never mind that drivers “speed through listening to music and (ignore) the rules of the road, too.”

DC-area suburbs are adopting Vision Zero plans to protect bike riders and pedestrians on auto centric streets.

A North Carolina pickup driver turned himself in to police Monday afternoon for the Thanksgiving hit-and-run collision that killed a bike rider. Which probably gave him plenty of time to sober up before turning himself in.

A 15-year old Florida boy tragically demonstrated the dangers of skitching, losing control of his bike and slipping under the truck he was holding onto when the driver slowed for a right turn.

 

International

A Toronto writer says e-scooters may be dangerous and annoying, but the city needs them anyway — or anything else that provides an alternative to driving. No, scooter riders can be annoying, but cars and their drivers are dangerous.

Horrible story from China, where three people are missing after a giant sinkhole swallowed a truck and an ebike rider.

A South African writer makes a bike tour of Bangkok sound like a real adventure. Which is not necessarily a good thing.

 

Competitive Cycling

The famed Paris-Roubaix just got a little less rough. A nearly one-mile section of cobblestones near the end of the race was partially paved, allowing riders on either side to travel a smoother road than those in the middle.

That Congressional Gold Medal for America’s last remaining Tour de France winner isn’t a done deal yet, still needing approval from the Senate after it was approved by the House.

 

Finally…

Your next ped-assist delivery ebike could be a refrigerator, too. Your next BMX could steer from both ends.

And if you’re going to file a fraudulent insurance claim after a bike crash, turn off your Strava and stop posting to Facebook first.

 

Guest Post: Hit-and-run driver Mehta walks despite showing no remorse, plus updates on other recent stories

We’re going to give our anonymous courtroom correspondent her own platform today.

Starting with an update in the case of 34-year old Medium contributor and author Pratiti Renee Mehta, who was re-sentenced for last year’s hit-and-run that left a bike rider seriously injured.

And yet another reminder of why people keep dying on our streets.

Two years.

Suspended, of course. ‘Cause she’s learned her lesson.

Upon her July conviction for all counts, Judge Julan Baliley sentenced Mehta to 3 years in State Prison. She left for her Chowchilla vacation almost immediately and was bussed back for her re-sentencing last week.

His Honor informed her that he’d sent her up the river in the hope that exposure to the element that fills our prisons would allow her to reflect on the person she wished to be. She did just that, observing her ilk from what little distance she could keep in such close quarters. According to her diagnostic assessment, she was a “model inmate” who did not create any disruptions during her brief stay.

She was allowed to address the court, and, through tears, expressed regret that she was unable to be present with her family, who experienced two deaths during her absence. She stated that she never wishes to experience incarceration again.

It is telling that she did not state that she never wants to harm an innocent human being with her car ever again, nor did she express regret for the permanent injury inflicted on that “bum” (direct quote from the post-collision texts collected as evidence).

Yup, she intimated that prison was unpleasant for her, but she never once referenced the extensive medical bills, physical pain, PTSD, permanent scars, loss of income, and limp she inflicted on her victim. Not to mention damaging the Peugeot her victim had bought in 1984.

Mehta’s assessment by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation psychologist  concludes that she is unlikely to reoffend. I agree, because she doesn’t wanna experience the hassle of mandatory court appearances, restitution, and incarceration. She won’t deliberately slam her Mercedes against another bum again, not because she gives a damn that others may suffer. Just because she might be affected by the repercussions, and it’s already been such a headache.

Frankly, Mehta lacks empathy. She’s not sorry for her victim; she’s just sorry she got caught.

Typically infuriating for these cases, she is required to sign away her Constitutionally protected right to possess firearms. Yet she is still allowed to drive. In fact, the Judge stated unambiguously that “I am taking no action against your driving privilege.” A driver who fails to use a turn signal will be sentenced to traffic school. But, gosh, all Mehta did was leave a guy lying in the street with his bone sticking out of his leg, and that’s not substantial enough to warrant remedial driver’s education. It might have been helpful if Judge Bailey had used his discretion to order Mehta to comlpete a Savvy Cycling class before returning her privilege to drive.

Also infuriating: Some hideous person left a comment on your blog about how horrible it is that poor li’l Pratiti’s career has been derailed because of all this inconvenience. Well, Mehta’s victim is a stage hand, a manual laborer whose ability to labor manually was taken away from him by her violent assault. To this day, he walks with a limp, and will probably never be 100% again. Although he’s working now, he lost lucrative, prestigious opportunities (plural) because he was unable to work during his physical rehabilitation. The commenter’s ignorance in suggesting that the victim shared fault is terrifying, and it’s disgusting to consider that Mehta associates with those who think this way and who might be able to influence her thoughts, especially since she is still allowed to continue to drive without any education.

In addition to time served (with credits for good behavior), the Judge sentenced Miss Mehta to 2 years in State Prison, suspended, for the felony hit and run count; 6 months in County Jail for the misdemeanor lyin’-to-the-cops count; and fines for the infraction of CVC 21070, “unsafe operation of a motor vehicle causing injury.” Count 4, CVC 21107 (“unsafe turn”), was dismissed.

Mehta will be on formal probation for the next three years. She will probably drive to report in for every appointment.

………

I recently wondered why a driver had been charged with murder for killing someone, which almost never done except in the case of repeated DUIs.

Here’s what she had to say.

Regarding murder charges. I spoke briefly with a random attorney in the courthouse hallway, and “implied malice” (the reasonable knowledge that an act is dangerous) is sufficient to file a charge of murder. “Express malice”  (“I’M GONNA KILL YOU, BITCH!”) makes it a lot easier to prosecute, but if you get reasonable jurors, a murder conviction is not just possible but likely.

This should be a giant duh, but murder is rarely sought in cases involving motor vehicles. Unless, of course, the driver is impaired, or if a threat has been expressed.

And conviction is never a sure bet, as in this case, which ended in acquittal, probably because of the, uh, questionable sobriety of one of the pilots. (This case was actually referenced by DA Cornwell in one of his filings in a vehicular manslaughter case a few years ago, which is why I looked it up.)

………

Yet another reason why people keep getting killed on our streets.

If nobody’s pointed it out yet: 10.4 miles of Vanowen Street is gettin’ a speed limit increase.

Not at the same Vanowen High Injury Network location where a crossing guard was killed at a yellow crosswalk and a HAWK beacon was installed last month. West of there. 10.4 miles, the longest stretch designated for an increase, all within a half mile or less of over twenty preschool and K-12 facilities. But at least those 10.4 miles don’t have many of those useless HAWK beacons. And only about 3 of the 10.4 miles are on the High Injury Network.

Good job, Vision Zero team!

………

That “wipeout” video you posted.

I recognized that Starbucks (and hideous Wells Fargo) instantly. That was my commute route for nearly 10 years.

Also, right where the video began, that’s where Michael Bastien was killed. (His killer’s already out, fwiw.) And that Starbucks is in the same strip mall where another Huntington Beach statistic worked, at Valentino’s Pizza. The dough slinger saw Bastien’s ghost bike every day, just meters from his work; he was hit on October 13th, 2015, and died in the hospital on the 19th, on the anniversary of Shaun Eagleson’s murder. If I’m marking dates, Wednesday would’ve been AJ Brumback’s 17th birthday. (Note: The killer of the then-eight-year old boy didn’t spend a day behind bars.)

A simple right-hook video shouldn’t create a cascade of these associations.

………

She also addressed last week’s response to a column by OC Register columnist David Whiting calling for a mandatory bike helmet law.

David Whiting’s friend Pete Tomaino was wearing a helmet when he was killed while riding his bike. Look, there’s a picture of Pete in the newspaper, wearing his holy, all-protective helmet!

Orange County bicyclists Joey Robinson, Roger Lippman, Shaun Eagleson, former Olympian Amine Britel, Sara Leaf, Debra Deem, Fire Captain Mike Kreza, all wearing helmets when they were killed.

The human brain can shut down permanently as a result of trauma not inflicted by a direct blow to the head. Even if you’re wearing a motorcycle helmet, damage to your rain not inflicted by a direct blow can kill you. No helmet will prevent trauma-induced hypoxia or rhabdomyolysis.

………

And she ends on a personal note.

Sunday night I was nearly killed by a creep who ran a red (not orange; very, very red) at a blind corner at 50 mph. I am still shook.

You know how your brain replays everything over and over and over in these situations, all the scenarios with variable timelines could have resulted in a different outcome. Yeah, that’s what my head’s been doing. For days.

Also, I had the plate, driver’s description, and location, and damn right I called it in, and the Sheriff will do nothing about the piddly little infraction that nearly killed me and the other driver with the same green light.

I won’t rant, but I am still shook. If I weren’t the type to look for cross traffic, if I hadn’t been on my slow janky bike while my Kilo TT’s in the shop, if I hadn’t yielded a block before for a turning driver, I wouldn’t be writing this.

If, if, if.

If, indeed.

Morning Links: Auto-centric traffic safety denier op-ed in OC Register, cross-border bike rescue, and why people keep dying

One quick bit of advice before we get started. 

With all the fires in California this week, it’s important to note that wildfire smoke can cause problems ranging from allergies and irritated eyes to lasting lung damage. 

So if you can smell smoke, don’t ride. If you have to ride, wear a mask.

And stop by your local hardware store or pharmacy to get one that really works.

Your lungs will thank you. 

Photo by Denniz Futalan from Pexels.

………

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding.

An op-ed in the Orange County Register makes some of the most blatant auto-centric, traffic safety denier arguments for the preservation of automotive hegemony we’ve yet seen.

Starting with the photo and captions of the “recent” road diets in Playa Del Rey.

LA Department of Transportation crews began restoring a second eastbound lane of traffic on Culver Boulevard between Nicholson Street and Jefferson Boulevard in Playa Del Rey while adding bollards as barriers to protect new bike/walk lanes. A recent “road diet” caused gridlock and backlash from commuters. Work is expected to be complete by Monday morning commute. Photo by Robert Casillas, Daily Breeze/SCNG

Only problem is, those road diets and bike lanes were removed two year ago. after climate friendly progressive mayor had them unceremoniously yanked out.

Evidently, it’s taken LADOT a long damn time to finish the work.

Or maybe our friendly neighborhood traffic safety denier authors — one a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, which is funded by the anti-transit Koch Brothers, the other an attorney and member of traffic safety denier pressure group Keep LA Moving — didn’t bother to do even the most basic fact checking.

Or maybe just didn’t care.

As demonstrated by their lead paragraphs, repeating the myth that a recent road diet prevented the evacuation of Paradise CA, leading to the deaths of 86 people.

Except it’s not true, according to the town’s mayor.

Mayor Jody Jones said Tuesday that the evacuation of Paradise, begun at 7:46 a.m Nov. 8, was complete by 3 p.m. Residents who arrived at a shelter in Oroville said the 16-mile exodus took 2½ hours, better than the three-hour evacuation in 2008 that sparked the Butte County Grand Jury’s investigation.

“I don’t believe that it really mattered,” Jones said of the changes made on Skyway. “I don’t think there’s any town in the world prepared with a roadway infrastructure that could evacuate their entire town all at once. They’re just not built to do that.”

That’s right.

The evacuation route took half an hour less than the same journey ten years earlier — six years before the road was even installed.

Then there’s this whopper.

The mass-produced automobile is one of the greatest inventions in American history because it brought both physical and economic mobility to the masses. These benefits were accompanied by pollution and safety issues, but such problems have dramatically declined. Cars today are 99 percent cleaner than cars in 1970, and fatality rates per 100 million vehicle miles have declined more than 75 percent.

Ask anyone who rides a bike or walks if they feel safer on the streets.

Never mind that this great invention they cite is literally one of the least efficient ways to move human beings from one place to another. And has the entire world on the brink of a climate disaster.

But hey, they’re not as bad as they used to be, right?

Or how about this?

The numbers reveal that fatalities plummeted 21 percent after the 2008 financial crisis. This was because total driving fell by 2.3 percent, reducing congestion and apparently increasing safety. When driving and congestion increased again during the economic recovery, fatalities also increased, though not by as much as they had declined.

This suggests that small reductions in traffic congestion can save many lives. Congestion especially makes intersections and streets more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.

However, there is a much better case to be made that while congestion may increase the risk of collisions, the severity of crashes decreases along with the decrease in speeds.

As we’ve seen in LA, the risk of traffic fatalities actually increases dramatically when streets are less congested, enabling drivers to speed and drive more aggressively.

Studies have found that for every pedestrian whose life might be saved by slowing traffic, anywhere from 35 to 85 people will die from sudden cardiac arrest due to delayed emergency response. This doesn’t even count other medical emergencies, structure fires, or other emergency service needs.

Someone please show us these studies, because they defy all comprehension.

Or maybe the Federal Highway Administration has no idea what they’re talking about when they say that not only do road diets not slow down emergency response times, they can actually improve them.

Then our traffic safety denier guides bring it down to the local level, LA style.

Los Angeles installed a road diet on Venice Boulevard, a tsunami, fire, and earthquake evacuation route, converting two of six traffic lanes into bicycle lanes. Auto traffic declined yet bicycle-auto accidents increased, a problem worsened by the difficulty emergency vehicles had in reaching injured cyclists.

Which is funny, since the road diet on Venice Blvd, aka the Mar Vista Great Streets project, actually reduced injury collisions involving people on bicycles, while eliminating severe injury collisions.

And average response times for the Mar Vista fire station are just 30 seconds longer than the citywide average.

Yes, every second matters. But clearly, the roads aren’t as congested and impassible as they would have us believe.

Let’s end on this note.

Calculations using the Department of Transportation’s National Transit Database reveal that transit in Los Angeles and most cities not named New York uses more energy and emits more greenhouse gases per passenger mile than the average car or SUV. Autos use even more energy and pollute the most in congested traffic, so increasing congestion or forcing people onto transit are the wrong ways to protect the environment.

The solution is not to force people to keep driving, which has already resulted in ever increasing traffic congestion virtually everywhere, with or without road diets.

It’s to provide viable alternatives to driving in order to get more of those cars, trucks and SUVs off the road. And the way to do that is by making bicycling, walking and transit safer, more pleasant and more efficient.

Not by doing the exact opposite.

Note: I debunked many of these and other similar myths by the Keep LA Moving half of these traffic safety denier authors in a response to his equally wacky Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this year.

Sadly, it’s clear they’ll still get a platform, though, as long as newspapers keep excluding opinion pieces from any form of fact checking.

………

David Drexler forwards news of a stolen bicycle returned to its owner, despite being taken across the border into Mexico.

Thanks in part to Bike Index.

BIKE INDEX AIDS IN RARE CROSS-BORDER RECOVERY
San Diego, Coronado, and Tijuana police forces collaborate expertly after receiving a tip on Bike Index to recover this $6,000 bicycle.

“Hi think I saw your bike on a swap meet place in Tijuana, which was a very weird place for me find an awesome bike. I’ve got the feeling that it was stolen so I took some pics and sent them to your phone. I hope it’s your stolen bike.” In August, a bike was stolen from outside of the Hotel del Coronado. A month later, someone messaged the registrant using Bike Index, believing they saw the bike at a swap meet in Mexico. Officers in Tijuana recovered the bike and met officers from the San Diego and Coronado police at the border to return the stolen bike to the owner. Cross-border recoveries are extremely rare! We’ve only had two others in our history: one bike found in Guadalajara and another found in Mexico City.

So what are you waiting for?

Register your own bike, already. Before it’s too late.

………

This is why people keep dying on the streets.

The family of a Michigan man is understandably upset about a plea deal that would mean just one year in jail for the hit-and-run driver who killed him as he was riding his bike, instead of the maximum of 15-years behind bars.

After a New York trucker was convicted of killing a bike rider while driving with a suspended license, the judge sentenced him to…wait for it…another suspended sentence. Which probably won’t keep him off the roads, either.

A Malaysian judge dropped all charges and freed a woman who had slammed her car into a group of teenaged bike riders, killing eight young men; the judge ruled the police had failed to sufficiently investigate the crash. And even gave her back her driver’s license so she could do it again.

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The LACBC offers a few slogans for your Climate Strike sign at this Friday’s City Hall protest, which will feature 16-year old climate activist Greta Thunberg.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Brooklyn garbage collectors respond to the recent deaths of bike riders killed by garbage truck drivers by walling off a bike lane with garbage cans to protest this damn bike riders. No, really.

Then there’s this, from our own LA backyard.

Meanwhile, CiclaValley says the new Safe Lanes app is the best way to record and report drivers who block bike lanes.

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Local

Here’s a better version of the Eastsider’s story about construction work on the new Red Car Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River that we linked to yesterday. Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the link.

West Hollywood ranked in the bottom third of America’s Best Small Cities, but scored a top 20 ranking for quality of life, due in part to its bikeshare system. Which has now been removed.

It’s not just bike riders who are dying in LA-area hit-and-runs.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission will livestream a symposium on the state’s Active Transportation Program today and tomorrow.

San Diego residents can look forward to a number of street disruptions in the South Bay Area for construction of the South Bay Rapid transit system starting, uh, yesterday. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

More news from down south, where the bikeways program of the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, is on hold for a year after falling behind schedule and $79 million over budget. Smart thinking. Nothing will get them back on track like falling even further behind.

Sacramento residents discuss how they’d make biking and walking safer.

 

National

Great long read from Cycling Tips’ James Huang, aka the Angry Asian, who says enough already, it’s time the bike industry did something about traffic deaths, while a Kentucky newspaper says not only are more pedestrians dying on our streets, but even more carnage lies ahead.

Vox says carfree zones could be the future of cities. Exactly what former state legislator Mike Gatto called for in Sunday’s Daily News.

He gets it. A writer for a public interest research group says with the dangers posed by climate change, bike riders getting scared off the roads by safety fears should be a big red flag, and we already know how to fix it.

A driving website recommends the best bike bells, calling them a must-have for a “safe, care-free ride.” Because evidently, a bell can be heard above a bumping sound system in a hermetically sealed, virtually soundproof motor vehicle, instantly alerting the driver he’s about to run over your ass. Right?

Outside tests three popular e-cargo bikes, and likes the Tern best. But says the much cheaper RadWagon will still get you there.

Evidently, they don’t get a lot of bike-riding Buddhist monks in Memphis. Or headline proof readers, for that matter.

When Boston park benches get in the way of bike stunts, just take an angle cutter and remove them. The benches, that is.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. New York responds to this year’s epidemic of bicycling deaths with a $1.7 billion commitment to build 250 miles of protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is committed to building bupkis.

A bike rider says he was tackled off his bike while riding on a DC trail and robbed at gunpoint, with the thief taking his bike, pannier, wallet and everything else he had with him.

The admittedly drunk New Orleans driver who killed two people riding bikes and injured several others at a Mardi Gras parade has changed his plea and and admitted guilt to all charges; he now faces up to 80 years behind bars.

A kindhearted anonymous donor dropped off a new bicycle for a Florida chef after his was stolen while he was at work; he can’t drive due to epilepsy and relies on his bicycle to get anywhere.

 

International

Interesting idea. A new bike stem comes with a built-in bike computer and 800 lumen headlight.

A brazen British bike thief literally followed a woman into a local shop to steal her new bike, after she took it in because she’d forgotten her lock.

In an absolutely brilliant step, a Belgian TV show takes politicians on a bike ride to show them the poor state of bicycle infrastructure, then confronts them with 500 relatives of people on bicycles who died because of it. Maybe if an LA TV station tried that, we might actually see some changes around here.

The City Fix offers three key lessons from The Netherlands to help spur bicycling in your own city.

A Pakistani man was killed when a glass-coated kite string fell on him, slitting his throat as he rode his bike; coated strings are used for popular kite battles in which the goal is to cut the strings of other kites.

Japanese internet users are in a tizzy after a mom is caught on video smacking her son in the head and knocking him down, for riding his bike in front of a car without looking.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling likes next year’s Giro course, of course.

Good for them. After the lead rider in a Brazilian bike race got hit by a driver on an open course while the cop responsible for stopping traffic stood idly by checking his phone (see below), the entire peloton laid down their bikes and walked off in protest.

But maybe you’re more into Brompton racing.

 

Finally…

Mutant bikes and the people who love them. Who hasn’t dreamed of one day owning a shape-shifting aero bike helmet?

And nothing like getting dropped by a little kid.

 

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